Belfast Telegraph

Government plans to boost work in nuclear industry welcomed by sector

The nuclear industry has welcomed Government plans to boost work in the sector and improve the chances of UK firms winning contracts.

Energy Minister Baroness Neville-Rolfe said the Nuclear Industry Council was being re-established in the new year.

She told the annual conference of the Nuclear Industry Association (NIA) in London: "There needs to be a forum to provide strategic grip from the industry and Government and to provide good governance.

"The nuclear industry already has such a forum - the Nuclear Industry Council. The NIC has been somewhat 'waiting in the wings' following a review to determine how to make it more effective and strategic for the benefit of the whole of the nuclear industry.

"With a resurgent nuclear sector the time is right to announce that we will re-establish the NIC in the new year, to progress the work on industrial strategy in the nuclear sector.

"Acting on the feedback from industry, the NIC will be more strategic; a smaller and more focussed body; longer-term and broader in its horizons.

"I want it to be a body that interacts effectively with wider industry so that views and ideas from right across the sector can support the bright and prosperous future that I know the nuclear industry can have."

The minister also announced measures aimed at achieving greater transparency on the sourcing of work and materials for new nuclear projects.

She said nuclear had enjoyed a "renaissance" this year following approval for the new power station at Hinkley Point.

Tom Greatrex, chief executive of the NIA, said: "The new nuclear build programme in the UK is a vital part of our need for secure, reliable, low-carbon power to replace retiring power stations and underpinning a sustainable energy future for homes, business and public services.

"It is also an important industrial and economic opportunity, and it is of huge significance that this is well recognised and understood by the Government."

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